New Delhi: India take on Australia in the Boxing Day Test from Monday. While most would be familiar with this piece of information, what cricket fans may not have wondered about is the origin of the term 'Boxing Day' itself. With no relation to the punching sport, December 26 in fact is a holiday celebrated in Australia, New Zealand and some other Commonwealth countries.
While there are several theories that describe how the term 'Boxing Day' came into common usage, the most popular dates back to the Middle Ages when churches kept metal boxes during Christmas for alms for the poor. Some reckon that the boxes were kept as far back as in the Roman era when offerings were collected as religious contributions.
December 26 is also celebrated as a secular holiday and is called St Stephen's Day. It was mostly celebrated in UK and from there, caught on to other commonwealth countries including Australia.